Online Courses to Learn PHP

PHP Online Courses

PHP is one of the top programming languages in the world, particularly known for its beneficial features for website design, e-commerce, and database programming. It is a great choice for WordPress developers and also plays well with other content management systems (CMS), such as Drupal. Programming and scripting languages like HTML and JavaScript also play well with PHP, making it the perfect language choice if you intend to develop database driven web applications and websites.

PHP is known as a fairly simple programming language, with developers ranking its ease of use up there with Perl, Python, and Ruby on Rails. While a programmer can definitely learn the language through tutorials (such as those hosted on Developer.com, CodeGuru, and HTMLGoodies), another great method is to use the online course approach. That is the topic of this tutorial, as within the following sections, we will be discussing the best online courses to learn PHP (or PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor as it is also known).

Online PHP Programming Courses

The courses listed below are of the best places to learn PHP in an online classroom environment. Each course will be beneficial to beginning level programmers through to intermediate and advanced level developers. Whether you are entirely new to programming and database development, a student studying programming and database administration, or a veteran looking to add more languages to your skillset, you will find something fitting in the sections below.

Building an E-Commerce Website in PHP and MySQL from Udemy

The Building an E-Commerce Website in PHP and MySQL course from Udemy specifically targets beginner level programmers. We like this course because it comes with a specific purpose; instead of just teaching basic PHP syntax and software development concepts, this programming class use E-commerce as its primary focus. By its end, students will be able to create their own database-driven online store.

Another nice feature of this PHP course is the fact that it teaches MySQL and covers working with the Admin Panel. More specifically, students will develop their own custom content management system (CMS) made for an E-commerce website, capable of receiving orders from customers.

Topics covered in this 8 hour series include:

  • How to set-up and configure templates and databases
  • How to create an Admin Panel
  • How to display products and setup the online store frontend
  • How to work with shopping carts, integrate PayPal, and allow customer registrations

You can learn more about this PHP and MySQL course by visiting its page on Udemy: Building an E-Commerce Website in PHP and MySQL.

Build a Social Network from Scratch: JavaScript, PHP, and MySQL from Udemy

Another offering from Udemy, the Build a Social Network from Scratch: JavaScript, PHP, and MySQL course is another great course with a purpose. It is designed to help would-be developers create a social network, similar to Facebook, from scratch. Not only will students learn PHP and MySQL, they also get a heavy dose of JavaScript and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) as well. Server technology, such as Xampp, is also covered, which will be necessary to host and test your new social media website.

This course is a bit heavier than some other, more casual, PHP courses you might find. It is nearly 17 hours long and covers how to code many features commonly associated with social media networks, including:

  • Registration forms and user sign-ups
  • Login forms and login pages (including styling)
  • How to build the basic skeleton and structure of a social media network
  • How to create a compelling and useable home page or Index
  • How to develop and design newsfeeds, profile pages, messaging systems, a live search, and notification system

You can learn more or sign-up by visiting the PHP courses site on Udemy: Build a Social Network from Scratch: JavaScript, PHP, and MySQL.

Building Database Applications in PHP from Coursera

The Building Database Applications in PHP course from Coursera is more of a gentle dive into the creating database driven applications with PHP and MySQL. The online course covers the basics of creating such apps, including an overview of basic PHP syntax and programming concepts, as well as techniques such as how to connect to MySQL databases and create connection strings.

Other topics covered include how to use the popular MySQL Portable Data Objects (PDO) library, object-oriented patterns in PHP, cookie and session data management, and how to use SQL commands to CRUD data (Create, Read, Update, and Delete).

More information is available about this PHP course at the Coursera listing: Building Database Applications in PHP.

Web Design for Everybody from Coursera

The Web Design for Everybody online course from Coursera is another great class that eases students into the PHP learning process. What we like about this course is that its primary focus is not PHP – though you will certainly learn PHP throughout the course. Instead, web development technologies like CSS, HTML5, and JavaScript are featured.

Students will further learn about working with the Document Object Model (DOM), working with the Bootstrap front-end framework, the importance of web accessibility, and responsive web design techniques for mobile devices and tablets.

To sign-up for this PHP web development class, visit its page on the Coursera website: Web Design for Everybody.

PHP CodeIgniter for Absolute Beginners from TechRepublic Academy

The PHP CodeIgniter for Absolute Beginners course is offered by TechRepublic Academy and makes our list because of its use of a framework – CodeIgniter – to help create projects and codebase skeletons in an easier fashion that coding from scratch.

CodeIgniter is just one of many web frameworks available to programmers. The idea behind a framework is that it create the skeleton of a web app, desktop app, or website, creating the core functionality of a program from common elements, saving a programmer from having to “reinvent the wheel”. Frameworks also help reduce code errors, as developers do not have to worry about re-coding common tasks and typing something in wrong.

Students will learn how to install and configure CodeIgniter, manage cookies and sessions, add website features, and complete a database-driven website, all over the course of 6 hours.

You can learn more about this PHP framework course by visiting its listing on TechRepublic Academy: PHP CodeIgniter for Absolute Beginners.

The Complete PHP and MySQL Web Development Bundle from TechRepublic Academy

One of the things we like most about TechRepublic Academy’s programming and database administration courses is the fact that they frequently bundle courses together. This is the case with their class The Complete PHP and MySQL Web Development Bundle, which bundles a slew of courses into one master class. Students will learn how to work with not only PHP and MySQL syntax, commands, and code, but will also be introduced to several web development frameworks, including the ever-popular CakePHP, Yii PHP, and Laravel.

To learn more, visit the PHP training bundle’s TechRepublic Academy listing: The Complete PHP and MySQL Web Development Bundle.

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James Payne
James Payne
James Payne is the editor for Developer.com, HTMLGoodies.com, Devx.com, CodeGuru.com, JGuru.com, and DatabaseJournal.com. He was previously the Editor-in-Chief of the Developer Shed communities – a network consisting of 14 websites and forums dedicated to programming, web design, hardware, software, web hosting technology, social media, and search engine optimization (SEO). He has also published three books on Python: Python for Teenagers, Beginning Python: Using Python 2.6 and 3.1, and "Python for the Absolute Beginner".

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